INTERNATIONAL Boxing Federation ordered a return bout for Matteo Handig and Japanese Katsunari Takayama.
Handig’s manager, Brico Santig of the La Trinidad Highland Boxing Gym, said the IBF ordered a rematch following some lapses in the mandatory drug testing before and after every sanctioned bout.
“I received a communication that we should do a rematch because we did not have the mandatory drug test before or after the fight,” Santig told local sports scribes Wednesday afternoon.
The boxing promoter cum manager said although it was not his duty to oversee the mandatory drug test Santig said it was a lapse on his judgment because it was still his duty as a promoter in making sure all rules by the IBF are followed.
“It was a lapse on my part. Na-excite na ako at that time kasi panalo yung bata ko kaya hindi ko na pinaki-alaman yung drug test. But we will abide by what IBF has ordered,” added Santig.
The 23-year-old Catarman, Northern Samar native Handig would have been the mandatory challenger against newly crowned IBF Mini Flyweight World Champion Mario “Dragoncito” Rodríguez of Sinaloa, México after his 12 round split decision win over experienced Japanese two-time world champion Katsunari Takayama.
Handig also wrested the IBF Pan Pacific title after his razor thin split decision win over Takayama in October last year.
With the win, Handig’s record improved to 13-5 with 7 KOs while Takayama dropped to 24-6 with 10 KOs.
It was the biggest win for Handig so far in his boxing pro career that catapulted him to the number 1 contender for the world title.
The ‘Waray Warrior’ is currently ranked fourth in the country and 18th in the world.
“If not for the rematch, Handig could have fought Rodriguez in Mexico last January 2,” Santig added.